The joys of the comic book industry
I am one of those people who spends over $50 per week on comics. I am not a collector nor am I a speculator, I am a reader.
Unfortunately, the comic giants Marvel and DC don't seem to understand where their money comes from. It's the regular shortsightedness that politicians and a lot of business moguls seem to share. The inability to pass up a quick buck in favor of the long haul.
The comics industry bought into the same myth that brought the sports card industry low such a short time ago. They thought the speculators represented a movement, and not the flash-in-the-pan that they are. Unfortunately for the publishers and fans alike, speculators skew the sales data and make it difficult to tell what is actually being read as opposed to what is being collected for the possibility of its appreciating and the publishers react to this stimuli.
Marvel has been trying for years to make it next to impossible to follow only one or a few of their titles without missing huge sections of story that can only be found in their other titles. This is the reason I don't buy any Marvel titles any longer. I could spend $50 a week on just them to know the continuity when I only actually find a couple of their storylines even interesting.
DC is somewhat better in that they have stories that are not involved in their main universe at all and their titles are mostly self-contained, moreso recently than a few years ago. Some must still be bought in groups to make sense of even a single title, though.
Here's a short list of specific ways to not bring in new comic book readers.
- Have limited run first issues. If they can't buy the first issue, they'll likely never buy any issue.
- Have a lot of crossovers between titles. People like to start small, not with a $20/week habit right off the bat.
- Have a lot of references to other related titles. Crossovers are bad enough, but at least they have the decency to advertise the need to purchase several titles to keep continuity.
There are several very good ways to bring in new comic book readers.
But that's a story for another node.